November 15, 2023

Join Us for Worship This Sunday!

Sunday, November 19 at 10 a.m.

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister

Mary Beth McNulty, Worship Associate

"Stone Soup" Multigenerational Service

In keeping with a semi-regular tradition at FUUSB, on this Sunday before Thanksgiving we will have a multigenerational service telling the story of Stone Soup – what happens when a community suspends disbelief and suspicion: creativity, abundance, and possibility! There are ways for all present to participate – Come dressed as a villager or find a simple costume to borrow. Plus, there might be props in the pew you sit in. The FUUSB Ensemble will sing “Crowded Table.” 

We’re collecting snacks for our neighbors at Elmwood Inn. As part of our radical welcoming, alongside other community partners, please bring some snacks that will be collected as part of this service and will be passed to our neighbors. Please bring any of the following non-perishable items: granola bars, bagged nuts, individual-sized popcorn, and meat sticks.

Join us for worship in person in the Sanctuary, or online. The livestream link and order of service will be shared at bit.ly/FUUSBWorship, or visit our YouTube channel.

Following the service, all are welcome to Coffee Hour in the Community Room.

While at the Meeting House, masks are strongly encouraged. In the spirit of caring for each other, please stay home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Thank you.

Food, Glorious Food (But First, Fire Drill)


Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister

This Sunday, towards the end of the service, we will be holding a fire drill. We look forward to practicing this set of safety skills with all of you. To reward ourselves (and to lure you into returning after the fire drill is complete), coffee hour will have special food as a pat on our back for learning and practicing.

Snacks for Elmwood Inn

Meredith OMalley

On Sunday, November 19, the Snack Wrangler will be coming with a basket to gather food and snacks for our neighbors at the Elmwood Inn. There will also be a basket along the side pews at the front of the Sanctuary. Along with First Congregational Church and First United Methodist Church, we care for our neighbors around us. The residents like things such as granola bars, bagged nuts, popcorn, meat sticks, or bags of apples or other fruit or dried fruit. In date of course – People sometimes forget to check sell-by dates. Champlain Housing Trust, Elmwood Trust staff, and its members and residents, all thank you. It takes a village.

Here is the text of Rev. Karen's sermon.

Here is the video link for last Sunday's service:

November 12, 2023 FUUSB Worship Service

November 26 Worship Service

Sunday, November 26 at 10 a.m.

Rev. Jane Dwinell, Guest Minister

Melinda Lee, Worship Associate

“What Is Memory?”

When my husband was diagnosed with “probable early stage Alzheimer’s” in 2016, we began to wonder about memory — What is it? How important is it? Can we live without it? I will offer our thoughts on memory.

The Rev. Jane Dwinell is a retired UU minister who specialized in helping our small congregations be the best that they could be. She is the author of four books, including Big Ideas for Small Congregations, and most recently, Alzheimer’s Canyon: One Couple’s Reflections on Living with Dementia, co-authored with her late husband, Sky Yardley. She lives on Lake Champlain with her garden and her two cats, Tubby and Pogo.

Join us for worship in person in the Sanctuary, or online. The livestream link and order of service will be shared at bit.ly/FUUSBWorship, or visit our YouTube channel.

Following the service, all are welcome to Coffee Hour in the Community Room.

While at the Meeting House, masks are strongly encouraged. In the spirit of caring for each other, please stay home if you have any cold or flu symptoms. Thank you.

2024 Total Solar Eclipse

Susan Ogden, Eclipse Team

The 2024 Total Solar Eclipse is an awesome opportunity for FUUSB to raise some serious money and have fun in the (disappearing-for-a-short-time) sun!

We need thirty households to contribute a room or rooms. Thanks so much to our donors! 

Please click here (https://tinyurl.com/EclipseUUHomes) to fill out the donation form. The Eclipse Team (eclipse@uusociety.org) will do all the rest!

2023 FUUSB Fundraiser - Holiday Wreaths & Greens for Your Home!

Sarah Forbes

There are many places you can get your holiday greens from. Please support the FUUSB and order a beautiful, custom-decorated, premium quality wreath or swag for your home or for a gift. Wreaths are handmade in the Northeast Kingdom and measure about 24” across. Swags are handmade, decorated with natural materials and a bow and are about 18"-24” long.

Pick-up is Saturday, Dec. 2 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), or Sunday, Dec. 3 in the Community Room (11 a.m.-1 p.m.).


Sign up online through the FUUSB Fundraiser link: 


FUUSB Fundraiser - Memorial Greens & Wreaths

Sarah Forbes

Remember a loved one this year with a memorial wreath or greens which will decorate our Meeting House and Sanctuary during December.

Sign up online through the FUUSB Fundraiser link: Auctria.events/Wreaths2023

Wreath Decorators Needed!

Learn something new or continue your tradition! Come decorate wreaths and make swags for the FUUSB Annual Fundraiser! No experience necessary - There will be many examples and direction given. We will be decorating in the Community Room on Thursday, Nov. 30, Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each day. Thank you!


Contact Sarah Forbes with your availability and any questions: email Sarah here or call here.

2023 Holiday Bazaar News


Kim Watkin

We will be collecting items* for the Dec. 9 Holiday Bazaar in the days before the event.  

Donation Drop-Off dates include: 

  • Wednesday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Yes to: kitchen and household items, holiday decorations, toys, books, jewelry, homemade food items

* No to: bedding, clothing, textbooks, large appliances and furniture, baby items, stuffed animals

Also, we welcome crafters to participate in our Holiday Bazaar by offering affordable creations to delight us, with proceeds shared with FUUSB. There's limited space, so email Martha Molpus here soon.  

Medical Leave

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister

For the next month (or so), Erika is away on medical leave. We wish her all good things, including a recovery made more robust because she is not tending to FUUSB matters. This means that Rowan is staffing our rather vibrant faith development program on her own during this time period. 

Please be patient and understanding when she does not respond to your emails right away or when balls drop. If you have the capacity to help during this time when our staffing pattern is stretched, please let Rowan know.

Update From the Climate Justice Team

Meg Randall

The Burlington City Council is poised to make multiple decisions with a big climate impact on Nov. 20 - including whether or not to expand the McNeil Generating Station. Join the grassroots campaign to ask our city council to invest in better energy alternatives! Click here for an action toolkit and message key city councilors today.

Masking at the Meeting House

Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance

For quite some time now the Society has had a "Masking Welcome" policy. Covid numbers were down, the weather was warm and windows could be open. Over the past few weeks, we have heard about more cases of Covid amongst members and friends, so the staff has decided to change our masking policy to "Masking Strongly Encouraged." While we are not requiring masks in the building, we are asking you to consider the health of our most vulnerable members and are encouraging you to wear a mask in areas where people congregate. We encourage you to bring your own mask, but we do have some masks available near the Pearl Street and Clarke Street entrances.

Also, with the weather turning colder, we will need to return to our air circulation procedures, which will require us to use fans to move air from the basement through the Sanctuary and out through the first-floor kitchen. This is currently our best way to make sure that air circulates through the Sanctuary in a helpful way. Doing this can often make our building feel cooler, so please dress accordingly and maybe keep your jacket with you in your seat.

Your staff is dedicated to making the Meeting House as safe as can be for everyone using our building. We will review our policies on a regular basis and adjust them accordingly. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Christina at xina@uusociety.org.  

Are You Sick? Please, Stay Home.


Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's to monitor our symptoms and stay home when we are sick. If you haven't been to the Meeting House lately, you may be surprised to know that we've had nearly 200 people in the building on Sundays. Our congregation is filled with people who are at varying risks of catching COVID and/or the flu. So we ask that you follow this advice from the CDC.

  1. If you have any of the common Flu Symptoms or the common COVID Symptoms, please stay home.  
  2. If you have been exposed to COVID but have no symptoms, please stay masked in the building.
  3. If you have tested positive for COVID, please isolate.

Remember, staying home doesn't mean you will miss the Worship Service; you can always watch the live-streamed service. And meetings can be held via Zoom, by scheduling a Zoom link with Mary. 

While at the Meeting House, masks are strongly encouraged. They can be found in the wall dispensers at both entrances.

Thank you!

Online Joys & Sorrows & Gratitudes Form


If you would like to share a joy, sorrow, or gratitude, we invite you to fill out our online Joys, Sorrows, & Gratitudes Form, available at this link and in each week's eNews.

Joys, sorrows, and gratitudes are shared in Sunday worship services as much as possible. Since our live-streamed services are available publicly on the FUUSB YouTube channel, we will not read full names or personal details.

FUUSB Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule


FUUSB's Thanksgiving holiday break will be Wednesday, Nov. 22 and Thursday, Nov. 23. Offices will be closed, and most weekly meetings will not be held. Please visit uusociety.org for updated event listings.

The eNews will take a break for the holiday on Nov. 22, with weekly issues resuming on Nov. 29.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Upcoming Worship Services

In-Person & Live-Streamed Sunday Services

Nov. 26 at 10 am

“What Is Memory?”

Rev. Jane Dwinell,

Guest Minister

Melinda Lee, Worship Associate

Dec. 3 at 10 am

“This I Believe”

Judy Brook, Darrell Fields, & Molly Moerdyk,

Guest Speakers

Betsy Ferries, Worship Associate

Dec. 10 at 10 am

“Bowing to Mystery”

Rev. Karen G. Johnston, Senior Minister

Judy Brook, Worship Associate

More details at uusociety.org

Joys & Sorrows & Gratitudes Form
Click here to submit a joy, sorrow, or gratitude.
Weekly Events
Visit uusociety.org for more information!

Sundays - 8 am

Sunday Morning Breakfast

In front of the Meeting House

Sign up to help: signup.com/go/yAbRpfy

Sundays - 11:10 am

Coffee Hour

Community Room

Mondays - 5:15 pm

Zen Meditation

Susan B. Anthony Room

Sign up at rsvp.church/r/sINl0nzs

Wednesdays - 5:15 pm

Love & Justice Vigil

In front of the Meeting House

Wednesdays - 7 pm



Meeting House & Zoom

no rehearsal 11/22

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Word Out
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Contact Us
First UU Society of Burlington
152 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-5630